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Since he took the oath of office on that cold day in January 2001, President George W. Bush has led the nation through the difficult times of the September 11 terrorist attacks, prosecuting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  On the domestic front, he secured passage of a major tax cut bill within five months of being sworn in (the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act, which he signed on June 7, 2001). He produced significant education legislation, the No Child Left Behind Act, which he signed on January 8, 2002 at Hamilton High School in Hamilton, Ohio.  And, on December 8, 2003, he signed the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act (MMA) of 2003.  Politically, Bush's efforts on the money trail and on the campaign trail in the 2002 mid-term elections helped keep the Republican majority in the House and gain a slender majority in the Senate.  One area where he has not made much headway however, is in his pledge to be a uniter, not a divider, as his fervent supporters and harsh critics can testify.

On May 16, 2003 Bush filed papers with the Federal Election Commission establishing a presidential campaign committee.  Despite a sluggish economy and nine Democratic challengers found much to fault with his leadership, Bush appeared well positioned 18 months out from November 2, 2004.  Four polls conducted in May 2003 put his job approval rating at over 60-percent. 

By February 2004, nine months out, the President's approval ratings stood around 50-percent and the re-election prospects looked a bit more cloudy.  Bush set out themes for the upcoming campaign in a February 23 speech to the Republican Governors Association.  "We have a record of historic achievement," he declared.  "And most important, we have a positive vision for the years ahead -- for winning the war against terror, for extending peace and freedom, and creating jobs and opportunity here at home." 

Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield, MO, July 30, 2004. (first speech following Democratic National Convention)

Republican Governors Association, Washington, DC, February 23, 2004.

"State of the Union," The U.S. Capitol, January 20, 2004.

From the USS Abraham Lincoln At Sea Off the Coast of San Diego, California, May 1, 2003.

Address to the Nation, The Cross Hall at The White House, March 17, 2003.  (48 hours)

"State of the Union," The U.S. Capitol, January 28, 2003.

"State of the Union," The U.S. Capitol, January 29, 2002.

Address to the Nation, September 11, 2001.

Address to Joint Session of Congress, The U.S. Capitol, February 27, 2001.

Inaugural Address, January 20, 2001.

Readings and Resources
See "The Book(s) on Bush"


Bumpersticker-Spring 2003

Copyright © 2003, 2004  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action